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s/v Code Blue – La Paz to Puerto Escondifo, Part 1 June 9, 2013

Posted by steveandjudy in Code Blue 2013.
Crescent shaped bay on Isla San Francisco

Crescent shaped bay on Isla San Francisco

5-29-13 La Pas to Puerto Escondido

We left La Paz at 3:12pm on Sunday 5-26. Motored out and got to Isla Espiritu Santo and a bay called Bahia San Gabriel after sailing 7 nm, and motoring 11 nm. Guide book says 18 miles from La Paz. We were by ourselves in the bay. There is a trail to the other side of the island to Playa la Bonanza, our guide book showed less than 2 miles so we fixed up the dinghy and put the motor on. We pulled the dinghy up out of the water with the wheels. There was a sign at the head of the trail. The sign says San Gabriel – Bonanza Trail 8.5 Km / 5.3 M and a 20 meter Maximum height, difficulty rated at medium. Duration 4 hours. The sign didn’t say if the 5.3 was round trip or one way. We weren’t interested in a 4 hour walk in the dessert even if there were these cute little dessert black hares (Lepus insularis) and if it was a round trip of only four hours.

We did one hour in and one hour out. Saw four hares. Never did get to the island divide high point. It was hot out, I’d say 95 F or better and not much to see besides cactus, dry or dead dessert plants, rocks and sand. OK, we did see a lot of sea shells and broken coral and ocean life remnants all along the walk from where the ocean used to be above the walk that we did.

Bees – Back at the boat we decided to flush the motor with a bucket of fresh water and run the gas out of the carburetor. I used a five gallon bucket and brought the bucket up to the bottom of the motor. Started up the motor and used a plastic bottle to catch the water going out of the bucket in the back left side. Soon I noticed a few bees getting some of the fresh water that splashed onto the transom. The motor died due to no fuel and we finished up putting the motor away and took the bucket down and put a lid on it. Thought I’d save the water to flush the anchor chain off with. Now we noticed about 20 bees swarming about the area, many on the transom, some trying to find new water, like at the hose fitting area as this was the source of water from a revised cold water stern shower. Since we were leaving, I went forward and brought up the anchor. Judy was mentioning all the bees back where she was at the helm to the point no other info was happening on the headset. By the time I got back to the cockpit we were up over 100 bees flying around plus the ones on the transom. Judy went below, closing the companion doors behind her. I put the boat into forward and started heading the boat off to the next anchorage. Finally after several miles distance and some help from the wind, no more bees. I think the water dried up too. Judy came back up and I flushed the anchor chain with the left over water, checking over my shoulder for any stray bees.

We didn’t leave until 2:26pm so there wasn’t much left of the heat generated night time southwest coromunel winds that appear sometimes clock like. We motored the whole way to Essenada Grande about 11 miles north on another island north called Isla Partida. Ensenada Grande is a three lobe bay and like many we chose the southern portion. We anchored near a large white fisherman’s cross as we wanted to hike another trail up a dry creek called an arroyo with a nice sandy beach. There was no sign or trail markings. You just climb or walk were you can. I finally made it up to the overlook and back down. Later, we went to the Baha EcoTour camp that was at the other beach. This had a real trail marker and in checking with the camp people it was about a 2 ½ hour hike up to place where you could see to the water on the other side. There was a blue heron along the beach, five turkey vultures at the mangrove on the ground near the lagoon. Six kayakers that were camping in tents came up to the beach while we were in the area. Their guide said the trail was well marked with carron rock piles and trail maker tape. We didn’t want to walk/climb for five hours, but thought we’d walk for an hour or so. It was way different than the dessert walk but still very hot. We went for an hour in and a half hour out. The kayakers had their water craft in the middle of the volleyball court that was setup by the other guys with the big tents, chairs, generators and such and only two guests. We invited them to a volleyball match later on only in jest due to the placement of the kayaks. They said come back later and we’ll have wine together.

After dinner and the sunset we took the dinghy back to the kayakers and they were having a happy hour using the tables and chairs from the main camp that were offered up to everyone. Some were from California and two guys were from Washington DC and New York City. About 9:30pm it was way dark, so headed back to the boat against 20 knot winds as the coromunels did not die down and actually seemed to increase in velocity. We took the motor off and lifted the dinghy out of the water with a side tie a few feet and snugged it down with stern tie and two bow ties. Still it lurched some with unusual noises that woke us up twice due to the winds and thumping on the hull. Next day we headed to “the cresent shaped bay on Isla San Francisco”.

This is a picture perfect bay on the south end of the island with white sand beach. We had up to six boats at a time in here, down to we were the only one. We took a hike up to the hill maybe 400 plus feet near the bay from the far south end, then walked and climbed the ridge crest all the way to the cove on the north side of the salt pond when it flattened out back to sea level. There were great views of the bay and other locations. We noticed scuba divers on the east side of the island as the depths were greater.

From the cresent bay we sailed and motored to the lagoon at Bahia Amortajada on Isla San Jose. s/v Max Gordy a 57 foot Tayana 1985 was nearby and their crew had just came back from the lagoon. The boat had completed a circumnavigation a while back. They said the lagoon was pretty neat, but not many birds as it was mid-day. We headed off and did the dinghy trip plus the three lobes on the south side that were good for checking out the fish. We saw a two and ½ foot trumpet fish, several small rays and a lot of small convict fish. No birds were in the mangroves. After getting back to the boat we mostly sailed to San Evaristo. We saw a mother and baby humpback and about six dolphins on the way. This is a small community on the Baja side with about 20 families living there. It was almost dark as we got in to anchor near m/v Remnant a Grand Banks and regular here and Tim on s/v Simple Pleasures who was at La Cruz when we were. This was 31 miles sailing and 32 miles motoring from La Paz. We heard s/v Eagle from La Paz very clearly on the VHF radio, about 51 miles if you go straight to La Paz and talked to Jeanne for a bit. She said to say hi to m/v Remnant.

Steve and Judy
s/v Code Blue
out from La Paz



1. Capt.Jerry Stephenson - June 10, 2013

Hpy to hear you guys are safe and sound and enjoying your trip. I was a bit worried when we didn’t hear from you for so long.

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